Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

"Zito the Magician" by Miroslav Holub

Zito the Magician,Miroslav Holub(Czech)                                                                                                             George TheinerTo amuse His Royal Majesty he will change water into wine.
Frogs into footmen. Beetles into bailiffs. And make a Minister
out of a rat. He bows, and daisies grow from his finger-tips.
And a talking bird sits on his shoulder.
There.
Think up something else, demands His Royal Majesty.
Think up a black star. So he thinks up a black star.
Think up dry water. So he thinks up dry water.
Think up a river bound with straw-bands. So he does.
There.
Then along comes a student and asks: Think up sine alpha greater than one.
And Zito grows pale and sad. Terribly sorry. Sine is
Between plus one and minus one. Nothing you can do about that.
And he leaves the great royal empire, quietly weaves his way
Through the throng of courtiers, to his home in a nutshell.

Miroslav Holub(Czech)
Translated by George Theiner

2 comments:

  1. Love this poem. I've had it pinned to my noticeboard at work for years. The image is nice too - reminds of the years I lived in the Czech Republic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this poem too! Discovered it many years ago in a Magazine.
    It actually renewed my interest in literature while i was pursuing an education in technology.

    ReplyDelete

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